How to Be an Activist




In this episode, Carly talks about the different ways we can be activists. When we think of an activist we think of someone in the streets but there are myriad ways to make a difference. Find where your skills can be used and do something!


Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!


Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. I'm your host, Carly. And I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Thanks for joining me for another Sunday solo episode that I'll let you in on a little insider information here is actually being recorded and released on Monday because I decided to finally be proactive and practice what I preach. And last night, I just needed to go to bed early. And so I did.

So here we are Monday morning, a little late, but still important. So thanks for joining me for this solo episode, whatever day it is. Today, I want to talk about the different ways to be an activist. I posted something about this on social media. And it seemed like there were some questions and some interest and some messages. So I thought I would address it here because it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately. So when we think of the word activist, we often think of someone marching in the streets. And that is absolutely one way to be an activist. It is out it is loud, it is proud, it is not afraid to be out there. And that is often the approach that I have taken. And for a long time. And sometimes still today, I catch myself judging others who aren't being an activist like I'm an activist. And that's not fair. For a multitude of reasons. Not everyone can be out in the streets or be voicing their opinion as loud. And I also have to recognize that I have a privilege to be able to be that loud sometimes because I'm not worried about let's say losing my job or being harmed in the way that people with other identities, are worried about speaking up for issues that matter.

So I have to check myself on that. And I thought I would talk about a few things I found that I thought were really interesting and really helpful. And I'll also include them in the show notes, some articles I found about other ways to be an activist. So this Everyday Feminism article, this one gives five different ways to be an activist. The first one is to give back with your time. So that is a really, really, really important one. There are so many groups on the frontlines doing important work and showing up every day. But there are also a lot of needs for kind of the background organization. So maybe it's a hotline, maybe it's a food shelter or an organization that is doing work in the community that necessarily isn't out front. But it's behind the scenes that are still serving people that have needs. Maybe it's scheduling volunteer hours, donate supplies, whatever it is, you can give your time in a way that supports the other missions happening.

Another one, the next one on this list is Speak up. So one of the easiest ways that we know right now to speak up is social media. And of course, it is sometimes scary to talk about speaking up on social media, there are keyboard warriors, there are a lot of people that like to respond without reading all the comments, whatever it is. But if you have a platform, or if you have people that respect you, it is a really interesting and somewhat easy way to share something. You don't even have to necessarily write this long post about why you care or why you're posting this, sharing an article about an issue that's going on that you care about, could be enough to spark someone else's interest. And it doesn't obviously have to be just on social media speaking up in person in conversation when things come up that make you uncomfortable if you're safe to say, hey, that joke wasn't funny. Or, hey, actually, that's a really big problem. Let me tell you why if that's okay, all of those things are also really important. So using your voice is crucial in whatever way that makes sense for you.

So the next one on this list is to put your money where your mouth is. So we underestimate I think in a capitalist system, the impact of voting with our dollar, we vote with our dollar when we support companies, when we support organizations, we are literally supporting places or not supporting places depending on where we spend our money or donate our money. So you can participate in boycotts of organizations that you think are not supportive of the things you care about. And then you can start shopping locally, but also specifically shopping from organizations that are people of color owned, that are LGBTQIA plus owned, that are feminist in nature, or whatever the issue is that you are thinking about right now, you can find places that support that mission as well. Also donating coming back to not being able to be in the streets, there is something to be said about donating money. For example, when the murder of George Floyd happened in Minneapolis, I was unable to go down and March. And I decided that because I couldn't, I would donate money to the people that I had, that were friends that were down there doing work in the streets, giving food to people. And that was my way in that instance, of making a difference.

Now, I'm not saying every situation should just have money thrown at it because we need all facets to help. But that is one way. And if you can do that, that can make a huge difference for an organization or for a group of people that are trying to organize around an issue. So the next one on this list is also really important. They title it smash the system and this list. But it is really, really, really important. You can call your representatives, your congressional representatives, your whoever it is your local representatives, every single day, if you want, you can call them and voice your concern, because they have the tally that they have to say how many times you somebody called on this issue. And don't be afraid to do it. There are so many scripts online if you're nervous about what you would say, that are helpful in terms of Hey, my name is Carly, I am from this district in Minnesota. And I am calling to tell you that I really care about this. And I hope when this bla bla bla bla bla bla bla How will the people that represent us politically know what we want if we are not telling them. So don't be afraid to do that.

If you have the privilege to vote and to make these calls, then you should be exercising it because not everybody does. And the last one on this list, I thought that was really great was otherwise support marches. If you can't come to the March, this is a quote from the article or choose not to march for whatever reason. That doesn't mean you can't support the aims of the organizers, the folks on the ground, or the agenda at hand. There are lots of ways to support on-the-ground activism without getting lost in the crowd. One of the easiest and most important things you can do to support on-the-ground activism is to spread the word about it. And quote, I think that's really crucial because that's another thing if you can't make it, that doesn't mean other people can't, you could actually share the message and rally more people to be there on the streets, marching for the rights of people, even if you can't be there.

So it's figuring out your skillset, and your ability, and your interests to find that outlet of activism that works perfectly for you. And there are many more ways to be an activist. There's another article from one Green Planet that I will also put in the show notes. They had a few extras on there that I thought were really important and one of them is educating yourself. That should be step number one and being an activist is educating yourself. If there is something that you don't understand that's going on in the world, or that you see posting on social media a lot and you're curious what it is educate yourself, check out documentaries, listen to podcast read, figure out what it is going on. And then start to make movement and then figure out where you can come in and be an activist in whatever way it looks for you.

This next one from this list that I thought was really great was find like-minded people. So bringing up your activist work in everyday conversation will probably align you with people in your life. That you maybe didn't know, we're also really, really passionate about this issue. And there is power in numbers, and working towards a common goal. The other thing that I really liked about this list is don't stop. Never stop learning, never stop being an activist in what ever way that looks to you, this is not a thing you turn on and off. This is something that you live out. And the next one this rolls into on this list is live it and think of it as leading by example. How are you living out your life that mirrors the type of world you want to live in and shows the type of things that you care about every single day? Those are just a few kinds of add ons to the list that I read earlier that I think are really important. I added an image with the post I made yesterday on social media about different ways to be an activist.

And it is a great image that is from Deepa a year and the building movement project. And I will link the show notes to this post. So you can see this image in the middle is a circle and it says equity liberation, justice, solidarity. And on the outside are all these other circles that are kind of spokes on this wheel, the social change ecosystem map, and there is a reading that someone shared with me Mooney, who you might have heard on the podcast a few weeks ago. That explains this more. And I'll also share that because I think that is really helpful. But some of these different circles on the outside. Are the healers, the storytellers, the disruptors, the caregivers, the builders, the visionaries. So what are you? I want you to look at this image, or listen to this podcast and figure out where you fit in making change. Are you a storyteller? Do you create content and tell the stories of the people that are on the front lines? Do you share their stories? Do you take their pictures? Do you write for an outlet that makes sure people know what's happening? Are you a caregiver? I imagine the people at the Black Lives Matter marches that were handing out water on the sidelines to people that were thirsty. There are different ways to be involved. Are you a healer? Are you a person that people come to to recharge? Do you offer classes and courses that make sure people that are activists are taking care of themselves too?

Are you a disrupter? Are you out on the streets? That's amazing. Are you not sure yet? That's okay. Think of the skills that you possess? What are the things you're really good at? And I don't want anybody to think right now. I don't have any skills that make sense for this that does that doesn't fly here. You do? You absolutely do. So what are those skills? And then how do they fit into making a difference? Because the options here are limitless. The only option that I do not want to ever be considered is to do nothing. Doing nothing is not an option anymore. If you have the ability to it is your duty as a fellow human having a human experience to help other people and to help other things on this planet. So figure out where you fit, figure out what you can do, what is your skillset? And what is your way of being an activist? I want to hear from you. I want to hear if you liked this episode, and you are figuring this out or you know where you fit. I want to hear about it from you. So please let me know reach out on social media or from my website or email whatever it is, let me know what your way of being an activist is. I want to hear because there are so many different roles that are crucial to getting the work done.

Thanks for listening to another episode of consciously clueless. If you're enjoying this podcast, hit subscribe, wherever you're listening. If you want to get this into the ears of more listeners, send it to a friend text it to a family member share on social media, and tag me. whatever you can do to help the podcast grow really, really helps to be read on air on a solo episode. As a podcast review of the week, head over to Apple podcasts and leave a review those help so much, and finally If you haven't been over to patreon.com slash consciously currently to check out everything else I'm doing, what are you waiting for? There's so many good things happening over there. So go ahead and check it out. Until next time